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Tunisia appoint Faouzi Benzarti as national team coach

Tunisia coach Faouzi Benzarti

Faouzi Benzarti will take charge of Tunisia for the second time

Tunisia have appointed Faouzi Benzarti as national team coach for the third time.

He took the Carthage Eagles to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in 2010 and was previously in charge in 1994.

Previous boss Bertrand Marchand left last month, after a double defeat by Botswana in 2012 Nations Cup qualifying.

Benzarti’s hopes of staying in the post beyond 2011 rest upon qualifying for next year’s Nations Cup finals.

Tunisia currently lie second in Group K of qualifying for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, one point ahead of Malawi.

Two teams will progress from this group because it comprises five countries.

Between his spells with the national team, Benzarti led Tunisian club side Esperance to the African Champions League final, where they were beaten by DR Congo’s TP Mazembe.

He left Esperance shortly afterwards after falling out with the club’s chairman.

He will be assisted by compatriots Farid Ben Belgacem, who coaches League 1 side El-Gouafel Gafsa, and Sami Trabelsi, a former Club Sfaxien player who worked as an assistant to Marchand.

The three will sign what the Tunisian federation has called a ‘contract of objectives’, which is effectively based upon a successful qualification for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon 2012.

In his first press conference on Tuesday, Benzarti said his objective “is very tough” and will need Tunisia to win their next three qualifiers.

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